The $65 Billion Question: How To Win With Millennials

Would your company like a piece of the $65 billion market that is millennial shoppers? We thought so. Whether you’re offering a luxury product, consumer packaged goods and staples, or a service, millennials are one of the most sought after demographics since the baby boomers made their fortunes. These emerging shoppers represent some of the most diverse and flexible consumers our market has ever seen (with a disposable income to boot), making them highly desirable for marketers.
Everyone is asking how to engage this audience, leveraging new technology to capture their attention, and forging new marketing frontiers to try to attract and keep these young trend setters. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we do have a few answers to some common questions about how to win with Millennials. Here’s how.

Q: Are millennials penny wise, and dollar foolish?

A: In a nutshell: yes.

With millions of dollars in student loan debt, skyrocketing rent and homeowner prices, and inflated costs of living in many cities, most Millennials try to cut costs wherever they can without sacrificing their Instagram-worthy exteriors. About 60% of millennials claim they are as comfortable buying non-name brand items as they are splurging for brands they love. One layer deeper, we learn that millennials are most likely to buy off brand items on everyday goods such as paper towels or butter, but are more inclined to align themselves with big brands on visible investments such as their cars or clothing. In other words, millennials are inclined to save their pennies when they can, but invest in items that will either bring them status, align with lifestyle values they champion on an individual level, or that they believe will serve them for years to come. Knowing where your brand falls on millennials’ perceived value spectrum will help inform your product pricing and placement strategy. If you know your brand can’t deliver a feel-good high like Tom’s (a brand that donates a pair of shoes to children in need every time someone purchase one), consider how to compete in a price sensitive market rather than trying to sell value where it doesn’t exist. On the other hand … it may be time to consider what the next two-for-one charity craze might be.

Q: Are brick and mortar stores becoming obsolete?

A: Not remotely.

It’s true. 92% of millennials say they will purchase something online or on a mobile device this year. Online shopping is quick, convenient, and sometimes cheaper than shopping local or visiting the mall. But that doesn’t change that many stores still draw in as much revenue online as they do offline. For millennials, online shopping versus retail shopping isn’t an “either / or” … it’s an “and.” Shopping is a social activity for millennials, so if you do plan to invest in marketing efforts at your retail locations, consider that your target audience is probably shopping with other people. Leverage the social aspect of brick and mortar stores by introducing “share your discount” offers for groups shopping together, social media discounts for check-in’s, or on-site shopping events (a little champagne never hurt anyone). Similarly, because online shopping is usually done from the privacy of your millennials’ homes, consider how personalized emails and individualized discounts can drive sales online.

Q: Are millennials really as narcissistic as we’ve heard?

A: That depends who you ask.

Millennials are more inclined than any other generation to give their time and money. They love brands that are environmentally conscious and have a positive impact on the global community. They also happen to be the most demanding when it comes to “wanting it all.” They want to work remotely, they don’t want to join the work force right away, and they tend to delay a lot of the adult responsibilities older generations value. Does that make them more narcissistic than other generations? It’s hard to say. But they are image conscious. And one thing is certain: they are redefining the rules of marketing and brand engagement. They are fiercely loyal, so if they do align to a brand, it’s because it speaks to them on a personal level. And once they do, they will share it and wear it loud and proud. When trying to win with millennials, consider that fact.


Our Orlando marketing agency prides itself on innovative marketing solutions that target a diverse group of audiences, including millennials. Learn more about how our clients are taking advantage of this unique generation here and be the next to get in on the action.

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